Japan’s two-time Olympic Champion Yuzuru Hanyu dominated the Men’s event at the Helsinki Grand Prix on Sunday. Michal Brezina of the Czech Republic claimed the silver medal and the bronze went to Republic of Korea’s Junhwan Cha.
Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN)2018©International Skating Union (ISU)
Performing his program named “Origin”, Hanyu reeled off a unique quad toe-triple Axel sequence, a quad Salchow, another quad toe and a somewhat shaky quad loop as well as four more triples and difficult spins and steps.
The two-time World Champion scored 190.43 points and racked up 297.12 points overall for a runaway victory. “Actually I was fighting my condition, as it was not so good before I came here and after I came here,” he said. “But I beat myself. Although the quad loop and quad toe were not perfect, I am pleased I was able to stay on my feet.
“I was trying hard to do the quad toe-triple Axel without a hop in between and when I’m fresh I felt the confidence I can do it.”
Michal Brezina (CZE) 2018©International Skating Union (ISU)
Brezina opened his program to “I’m a Man” and “Thunderstruck” with a quadruple Salchow-double toeloop combination, but then fell on the triple Axel. He fought back to land five triple jumps including an Axel and picked up 164.67 points for his effort. The multiple Czech Champion accumulated 257.98 points overall to take the silver medal and most likely a ticket to the Grand Prix Final in Vancouver.
“I am happy with the way I finished the program,” the 28-year-old said. “The rock ’n’ roll music gives me energy. It felt great to perform except for the mistake at the beginning. I have no clue how that happened, I usually don’t miss the triple Axel.”
Cha produced a quadruple toeloop and seven triples in his “Romeo and Juliet” program. However, he missed the quadruple Salchow. Cha scored 160.37 points for the Free Skating and totaled 243.19 points to move up from fourth to third place, taking his second Grand Prix bronze medal.
Junhwan Cha (KOR) 2018©International Skating Union (ISU)
“I’m really happy about my skating today, because I competed last week at Skate Canada and I competed this week again,” the 17-year-old said at the post-event press conference. “My condition wasn’t really good, I’m coughing. I made one big mistake in the beginning, but I worked hard until the end of the program.”
The 2018 World bronze medalist Mikhail Kolyada (RUS) climbed from sixth to fourth on 238.79 points. Boyang Jin (CHN) dropped from third to fifth on 227.28 points after making some errors. Andrei Lazukin (RUS) finished sixth.
Michal Brezina (CZE), Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN) and Junhwan Cha (KOR) 2018©International Skating Union (ISU)